Sports

The organization of the quarter-final of the Euro in Saint Petersburg worries because of the Covid


New match day for the Blues who face Switzerland this Monday, June 28. If the supporters of the France team are obviously hoping for a victory, their eyes are already on the next match and especially the location of this meeting: the city of Saint Petersburg, in Russia. A city where the winner will play his quarter-final, Friday, against Croatia or Spain.

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Problem? The Covid-19 epidemic is experiencing a record outbreak in Russia. Behind Moscow, Saint Petersburg is the city in the country most affected by the new wave of the epidemic caused by the Delta variant of the coronavirus, first identified in India and considered much more contagious.

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The former Russian imperial city has recorded 110 deaths in the past 24 hours, according to statistics released on Monday, June 28, surpassing the city’s death record for the second time in three days. Across the country, 21,650 new people have been infected, for a total of more than 5.4 million cases since the start of the pandemic. And 611 people have died, out of a total of 133,893, according to official figures.

No change of venue planned

The country is even placed on the red list of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, proof of the concern raised by this resurgence of the epidemic. A compelling reason is therefore necessary to go to Russia – football is not one of them – and travelers returning from this country will have to observe a strict and mandatory quarantine, said Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu on Franceinfo.

Despite the risks, the quarter-final of Euro football scheduled for Saint-Petersburg will take place, organizers assured AFP on Monday. A UEFA spokesperson told him that the Russian health situation “Don’t change[ait] absolutely nothing for the teams ”, and that he was not “No plans to change the venue of the match”.

The authorities have said since the start of the Euro that all health measures have been taken to ensure the health safety of spectators and teams. The Krestovski stadium, which will host the meeting, is particularly filled at 50%, or about 34,000 people.

Cases of Covid among supporters returning from Russia

Sufficient measures? Finnish authorities expressed concern last Thursday after the detection of nearly 100 cases among supporters returning from St. Petersburg. The distancing measures and the wearing of the mask are very random in the city, and this while the vaccination skates there for long months: only 21.8 million people out of 146 million inhabitants have received at least one dose, according to official figures.

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As for the players, not all are vaccinated. UEFA has not given any obligation, each federation can choose its policy in this area. In France, Didier Deschamps left the choice to footballers. “There was no organized vaccination for the players, said the coach of the Blues at a press conference. Vaccination remains a personal decision, some are, on their own or with their clubs. “

There is also the question of the situation in England, where the Delta variant is wreaking havoc. Different European leaders recalled that the health situation must be regularized before the stadiums are filled. Some have even proposed that the semi-finals and the final no longer go to London as planned.

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